2GB Money | Ian Henschke Interview

Interview courtesy of 2GB.



I thought we’d have a chat to Ian about that and a few other things. I’m delighted to say, he’s on the line compliments of the season and I hope you’re well. I am indeed Lucas. Oh, I’m covid free which is always a good thing to be and I’m actually turning 67. On Wednesday, so I’m feeling pretty good about life. But I really glad you’re talking. I’m really glad that you’re talking about this because I think that we need to reflect sometimes in our country and say, can we do things better? Now? I know that we can do better in aged care. That’s why we had a Royal Commission into aged care. I know we can do better in home care.

That’s why the government has listened to us and brought in more home care packages. And now I think there is another way that we can improve. Prove the conditions of people in home. Qh care and also pensioners incomes themselves. And that is by looking at the way we’ve designed the pension system. Because at the moment if you work more than one day a week, you lose 50 cents in the dollar from your pension. And you should never forget that, the pension is taxable income. So when you earn that extra money, you can then go into a tax bracket of 19 cents in the dollar and we’ve got people being taxed 69 cents in the dollar.

And do you know that Gina Rinehart the Just woman in Australia. The richest person in Australia, has come out and said the government should look at this and change the system because in WA they need 50,000 extra workers. If you look around the country, we need thousands of extra workers and there’s no bigger need than in aged care. And so this is why I think the government should address this policy very very quickly, not wait until the election, not wait to run up, but do it now because if you’re an aged care, ER, and let’s just say you’ve turned 66 and a half today, right? You’ve become a pensioner like myself of pensionable age. And then they say to you. Would you like to come in and work next weekend? You know what happens?

That person goes in there and works on the Saturday and they get to keep the money and on the Sunday, they get a penalty rate or whatever and they lose 50 cents in the dollar and that becomes taxable income and they’re actually working for a pittance now, is that right? No, it’s not. Absolutely. It’s not right. It’s part of the bigger issue which is, you know, we and this is no reflection on anyone, but it’s just starting the bleeding obvious. need people to fill work.

I read a story of week or two back mate that said, 100 is a new 75. So we’ve got all these life-changing drugs that keep us fit. Her living longer. We’re being encouraged by government to work longer and we’re talking about seniors, you know, who might be able. Out of offer, three, four, five years, more work, without someone having to come to Australia from another place. This so-called skilled migration where Harvey occupations, don’t appear to be all that skilled.

You could set up senior Australians who might like to have it a change move to a regional place and pick up work there. Whatever. It might be. We are hopeless at re-engaging with senior Australians and making sure with without getting too carried away of squeezing, the last ounce of work or effort. Out of them. We just, you know, we get to appointments. I right, that’s it. Good on ya and we make it possible. It’s ridiculous.

Now, Luke, I’ll tell you something to probably shock you or your listeners, you know, if you look at other comparable countries in Japan, for example, you know more than 20 percent. I think it’s 22% of their over, 65s are still in paid employment in some form or other. If you look at America, it’s about 20% of them. Still in paid for employment some formula. Israel, the same story over their career, the same story, there New Zealand, 24.8% of the over, 65s are still doing some paid employment in Australia Its 14%. And if you go and look at the pensioners, it’s less than 3% of pensioners. Now. Why is this?

Well, I tell you the self-funded retirees or the self-funded, you know people, you know, it’s you know that The Gerry Harveys to Kerry Stokes the Gina Rineharts who are all still working. They get to keep their money when they earn it, and they just pay tax. When the pensioner works the pensioner gets 50 cents in the dollar taken away. And then when they earn above the, tax threshold, which I think is about 32,000 when they get another 19 cents to take it away. So they’re paying the highest marginal tax rates of any individuals in Australia effectively. Now, why is that? It’s because Someone somewhere sees the pensioners welfare. And when they see it as welfare, they say, oh, well, you’re not really entitled to keep any of that money. So I’m going to put my hand in your pocket.

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